by Stan Coffey

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The Strange Case of the Wandering Wife (38 of 54)
Series: Through the Bible Survey
Stan Coffey
Hosea 1:2-9

INTRODUCTION: With the study of Hosea's prophecy, we enter upon 12 books known as the minor prophets. Remember the difference between the major and the minor prophets is not a matter of importance, but of the amount of material written.

AUTHORSHIP: The name of the author, Hosea, like that of Joshua or Jesus means ''salvation.'' Hosea was sent to the ten northern tribes called Israel and prophesied in the reign of Jeroboam II of Israel. He lived in this northern kingdom when the splendors of Jeroboam's brilliant reign of 41 years were beginning to fade into the black midnight of Israel's captivity.

DATE: Eighth century BC. This was a stirring time in the world's history. Rome and Carthage were both founded during this period. Hosea's contemporaries were Amos, Isaiah, and Micah. He has been called the Jeremiah of the northern kingdom. Following the death of Jeroboam II, the nation was in a state of political anarchy. The religious life of the people was idolatrous and degenerate. Hosea was an eye witness to the inward deterioration which eventually led to the collapse of the nation in 722 BC, which time Samaria, the capitol fell to the Assyrians.

THEME: The theme of the book of Hosea is God's redeeming love for Israel. Hosea's demonstration of faithful love toward his erring wife, Gomer, became a visible symbol of God's steadfast love for Israel in spite of Israel's unfaithfulness to that love. Perhaps no other Old Testament figure gives us as clear a picture of the love of God as did Hosea. Through the crucible of his own marital tragedy, Hosea came to understand the steadfast faithful love of God for Israel. Hosea's love for his wife was so strong that even the worst actions of an unfaithful wife could not kill it.


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